The Clothesline Theater
Shattered mirror, oh, you lying shattered mirror you lied to my heart again
Stole my blood from the morrow I could and I lay here dripping in sin.
I stood so sure when I was a girl with dreams to harness my soul
One by one, year by year dark dreams and mentor'd by the Mole.
At evening dusk a young woman lusts and her fellow runs like a hare
Shredding lillies, scaring the Millies and mocking me into fiery dare.
My hair and hands both covered my lines and curtains as sunny sheets
Dances and deals, peasants, beggars and meals no fame do I meet.
Rice o'er my head and curtains shed on ropes of jelly bread plate
Each show I died while William cried and creditor seeking my gate.
With shillins and shins with stockings and pens
Write me a sonnet that never eye seen.
Of pigs at trough and Arthur coughing while wife of ease loves loafing.
Bloody fingers of lies still lingers telling me stage is but a coffin.
My footsteps quick, a dancer's pick while my eyes freeze in spider's lair
Oh, mirror, mirror oh, lying mirror why my face? Why death do I care?
One last show and one last show I hear Arthur yelping at top
Piano dies with corpse's flies no blood William ever denies.
Still I carry on, singing a groan hoping for sunrise sure
No aching head, no harlot's bed, but truth so sweet, so pure.
Oh, Spain's red wine with bread to dine with kings, queens so shallow
Drunken princes talk loosely giving pence to actresses dripping tallow.
Their table is secret and not given to slaves is where my feet belong
A line now full. Yes, it's full. I know my performance is not that long.
A last tune, a withered balloon and I must die on trodden ground
My dancing is now a story told at dinners given for pound.
My singing is nothing but a tear on a mother's torn face.
I danced my dance and sang until death passed my face.
© 2016 Kenneth Avery